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This Is What You Need To Know About Sclerotherapy

This Is What You Need To Know About Sclerotherapy

What is Sclerotherapy?

Sclerotherapy is a popular medical procedure that uses an injection of a solution to eliminate spider veins, reticular, and small varicose veins. It’s a proven varicose veins treatment and spider vein treatment that has been in use since the 1930s. The procedure is performed in-office, and the solution is either a foam or liquid that is injected via a small gauge needle. Once the solution has been injected, it causes the vein to swell and stick together, or scar. Blood is then forced to reroute through healthier veins, while the scarred vein is reabsorbed into local tissue, eventually fading.

Sclerotherapy Candidates

For those who are troubled by their varicose veins, a dermatologist or vascular medicine specialist will decide whether or not the procedure would be suitable. If you are pregnant, the procedure will not be done; however, if you take birth control pills, you are eligible have the varicose veins treatment. Those patients who have had a blood clot in the past have their eligibility for the procedure determined on a case-by-case basis. Eligibility depends on the overall health of the area to be worked on, and the reason for the blood clot is also considered, according to WebMd.

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Effectiveness of Varicose and Spider Vein Treatment with Sclerotherapy

Research shows that up to 80% of injected veins can be treated and eliminated with each treatment session, and 90% of people who undergo sclerotherapy do respond to the injections. For the most part, small spider veins can be seen fading in three to six weeks, while larger veins may take three to four months to fade. When veins respond to the treatment, they do not ever reappear, although new veins may become visible.

Possible Side Effects

Most side effects of sclerotherapy are mild and do not persist for very long. Itching is possible and can last for one or two days, and there may be raised and/or red areas at injection sites for a couple of days. Bruising can also occur, and can last several days or a few weeks, depending on the patient. Although larger veins that have been treated can become hard and lumpy, they will normally dissolve and fade within a few months. Brown lines or spots can also appear, but in most cases they disappear within six months. More serious side effects, which are rare, might include allergic reactions to the solution, inflammation within five inches of the groin, a sudden onset of a swollen leg, and small ulcers that form at the injection site. Should any of these side effects occur, your doctor should be contacted right away.

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The Cost of Sclerotherapy

How much you will pay for this vein treatment procedure will depend on several factors. You should know that unless the varicose veins are causing medical issues, such as pain or chronic swelling, insurance probably will not cover the procedure. Be sure to check with your insurance company ahead of time and ensure that you fully understand the costs you will be responsible for. The cost of the procedure will also vary from provider to provider, and will depend on how many veins are treated, how large the veins are, and so on. If your insurance will cover the cost, the company will require a letter from your doctor discussing the nature of the treatment and the necessity of it.

Before and After Sclerotherapy Treatment for Veins

Prior to your procedure, your doctor will evaluate the veins involved and will want to know about any recent illnesses or medical conditions, allergies, and medications or supplements you take. You’ll be instructed to stop taking any aspirin, NSAIDs, and blood thinners at a certain point before the procedure to minimize bleeding. Mayo Clinic recommends avoiding shaving and applying lotion to the legs for 24 hours before your treatment and wearing loose, comfy clothes to the appointment.

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Medical experts recommend that anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and aspirin be avoided for 48 hours after your treatment. You should also avoid hot baths, saunas, whirlpools, and exposure to direct sunlight. Showers are fine, but be sure that the water is not hot. You may wash injection sites with mild soap and water. Walking is encouraged, and you can resume your regular daily activities, with the exception of strenuous aerobic exercise; you’ll also be told to wear compression stockings for a bit afterwards. Should you have any concerns about anything regarding your sclerotherapy treatment, be sure to consult your medical professional.

Featured photo credit: stylecraze.com via stylecraze.com

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Last Updated on June 6, 2019

Science Says Silence Is Much More Important To Our Brains Than We Think

Science Says Silence Is Much More Important To Our Brains Than We Think

In 2011, the Finnish Tourist Board ran a campaign that used silence as a marketing ‘product’. They sought to entice people to visit Finland and experience the beauty of this silent land. They released a series of photographs of single figures in the nature and used the slogan “Silence, Please”. A tag line was added by Simon Anholt, an international country branding consultant, “No talking, but action.”

Eva Kiviranta the manager of the social media for VisitFinland.com said: “We decided, instead of saying that it’s really empty and really quiet and nobody is talking about anything here, let’s embrace it and make it a good thing”.

Finland may be on to something very big. You could be seeing the very beginnings of using silence as a selling point as silence may be becoming more and more attractive. As the world around becomes increasingly loud and cluttered you may find yourself seeking out the reprieve that silent places and silence have to offer. This may be a wise move as studies are showing that silence is much more important to your brains than you might think.

Regenerated brain cells may be just a matter of silence.

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     A 2013 study on mice published in the journal Brain, Structure and Function used differed types of noise and silence and monitored the effect the sound and silence had on the brains of the mice.[1] The silence was intended to be the control in the study but what they found was surprising. The scientists discovered that when the mice were exposed to two hours of silence per day they developed new cells in the hippocampus. The hippocampus is a region of the brain associated with memory, emotion and learning.

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    The growth of new cells in the brain does not necessarily translate to tangible health benefits. However, in this instance, researcher Imke Kirste says that the cells appeared to become functioning neurons.

    “We saw that silence is really helping the new generated cells to differentiate into neurons, and integrate into the system.”

    In this sense silence can quite literally grow your brain.

    The brain is actively internalizing and evaluating information during silence

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      A 2001 study defined a “default mode” of brain function that showed that even when the brain was “resting” it was perpetually active internalizing and evaluating information.

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      Follow-up research found that the default mode is also used during the process of self-reflection. In 2013, in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Joseph Moran et al. wrote, the brain’s default mode network “is observed most closely during the psychological task of reflecting on one’s personalities and characteristics (self-reflection), rather than during self-recognition, thinking of the self-concept, or thinking about self-esteem, for example.

      “When the brain rests it is able to integrate internal and external information into “a conscious workspace,” said Moran and colleagues.

      When you are not distracted by noise or goal-orientated tasks, there appears to be a quiet time that allows your conscious workspace to process things. During these periods of silence, your brain has the freedom it needs to discover its place in your internal and external world.

      The default mode helps you think about profound things in an imaginative way.

      As Herman Melville once wrote,[2]

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      “All profound things and emotions of things are preceded and attended by silence.”

      Silence relieves stress and tension.

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        It has been found that noise can have a pronounced physical effect on our brains resulting in elevated levels of stress hormones. The sound waves reach the brain as electrical signals via the ear. The body reacts to these signals even if it is sleeping. It is thought that the amygdalae (located in the temporal lobes of the brain) which is associated with memory formation and emotion is activated and this causes a release of stress hormones. If you live in a consistently noisy environment that you are likely to experience chronically elevated levels of stress hormones.

        A study that was published in 2002 in Psychological Science (Vol. 13, No. 9) examined the effects that the relocation of Munich’s airport had on children’s health and cognition. Gary W. Evans, a professor of human ecology at Cornell University notes that children who are exposed to noise develop a stress response that causes them to ignore the noise. What is of interest is that these children not only ignored harmful stimuli they also ignored stimuli that they should be paying attention to such as speech. 

        “This study is among the strongest, probably the most definitive proof that noise – even at levels that do not produce any hearing damage – causes stress and is harmful to humans,” Evans says.[3]

        Silence seems to have the opposite effect of the brain to noise. While noise may cause stress and tension silence releases tension in the brain and body. A study published in the journal Heart discovered that two minutes of silence can prove to be even more relaxing than listening to “relaxing” music. They based these findings of changes they noticed in blood pressure and blood circulation in the brain.[4]

        Silence replenishes our cognitive resources.

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          The effect that noise pollution can have on cognitive task performance has been extensively studied. It has been found that noise harms task performance at work and school. It can also be the cause of decreased motivation and an increase in error making.  The cognitive functions most strongly affected by noise are reading attention, memory and problem solving.

          Studies have also concluded that children exposed to households or classrooms near airplane flight paths, railways or highways have lower reading scores and are slower in their development of cognitive and language skills.

          But it is not all bad news. It is possible for the brain to restore its finite cognitive resources. According to the attention restoration theory when you are in an environment with lower levels of sensory input the brain can ‘recover’ some of its cognitive abilities. In silence the brain is able to let down its sensory guard and restore some of what has been ‘lost’ through excess noise.[5]

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          Summation

          Traveling to Finland may just well be on your list of things to do. There you may find the silence you need to help your brain. Or, if Finland is a bit out of reach for now, you could simply take a quiet walk in a peaceful place in your neighborhood. This might prove to do you and your brain a world of good.

          Featured photo credit: Angelina Litvin via unsplash.com

          Reference

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